The primary research interests of the lab are in: Heart valve tissue engineering, cardiovascular mechanobiology and Evaluation of functionality and hemocompatibility of cardiovascular devices (such as stents and heart valve prosthetics). Some of the “tools” that we use include, Bioreactors, MRI, CFD and FEM modeling. We have a main lab space for conducting assays, sterization, tissue harvests, etc and a dedicated cell and tissue culture sterile cleanroom facility for doing live cell and tissue culture work (e.g. bone marrow stem cells, periodontal ligmant cells, chondrocytes, etc). Currently a primary objective of our lab is on stem cell mechanobiology focussing on cardiovascular and valvular cell differentiation pathways. To this end we are exploring the utility of two potential adult progenitor cell sources, namely periodontal ligament cells derived from wisdom teeth and mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow. Concomitantly, a variety of fluid-induced and solid mechanical stress environments are imparted to these cells; examples include oscillatory fluid and cyclic flexural stresses respectively. We intend to uncover the fundamental mechanisms by which mechanical regulation of these cell types directed towards the heart valve phenotype can be delinieated systematically at the molecular, cellular and tissue scales.